HMEC in Orlando, Florida

Our wandering swamis arrived in Orlando, Florida, for the three-day annual conference held by the Hindu Mandir Executives Council, a national body of the managers, owners and priests of temples in North America. This is the seventh year the monastery has attended.

About 200 leaders were present for an amazing array of presentations and sessions presented by women, youth, educators and more. In fact, the theme of the conference was "The Role of the Mandir in Hindu Education."

Sadasivanathaswami was asked to present our Hindu History movie in the inaugural session, and when it ended great applause filled the room. In the hours afterwards many came forward to get access to the movie for their teaching programs across America, and others told that they had already downloaded it and screened the film for 15 classes back home. Quite rewarding to see it being embraced so eagerly.

Sadasivanathaswami also offered a major Keynote presentation on the broader impact of HMEC in the evolution of the consciousness of Americans regarding Hindu thought, history and culture, offering ideas to the group on how they might move forward in the decades ahead now that there are more than 1,000 Hindu temples in North America.

Other presenters that night and the following day spoke of the many ways we convey our culture to the next generation, and some of the ways we are falling short in that effort.

The swamis were challenged to move through the crowds, since everyone wanted to stop them, say a few words about how important Hinduism Today is in their lives, how proud they are to have such a publication. Others offered ideas for articles, or books they have published for review in the magazine. One had just completed a peer-reviewed paper on Hindu Bio-Ethics and asked our monks to proof and critique it.

One Hindu chaplain shared from the stage how the Master Course has changed her life, guided her service, helped her find perspective on the difficult challenges of her work in the field. She told the audience she has torn out every page of Living with Siva, underlined passages, pasted the pages in reference binders and used Gurudeva's insights to help hundreds of men and women get through life, saying to us in the hall, "Swami, I am a living testimony to the work the monastery has been doing all these years and you should know it would be impossible to thank you enough for what your books have meant to me and to my work as a chaplain."

Before each of the meals, the chef called Senthilnathaswami and Sadasivanathaswami to the buffet and asked them to bless the meal with the Bhojana Mantram, while the staff of the Renaissance Hotel stood in amazement.

Giant Papaya – “I Could Put My Head In There!”

We don't know for sure but this may be one of the biggest papayas ever harvested here. The Siddhidata Kulam has been carefully collecting papaya seeds from the most successful varieties for many years and slowly developing a strain that does well here in our environment. This one was about the size of a basketball.

Satsang in San Diego

Our two swamis were deluged with affection and care in Southern California. After a visit to the home of Ravi & Sheela Visswanathan the monks sent to the home of Dasan and Shakti Mahadevan, their first visit there. Some thirty devotees joined for the evening. Dasan did a Ganesha puja with great affection and then another for the sandals of Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, after which all chanted Bodhinatha's 108 names in English and Sanskrit.

All adjourned to a lovely space with 12-foot high ceilings and as they gathered Mayuresh, just 12, played a tabla solo with great concentration, his graceful fingers revealing the drum's potential.

Paramacharya then told some Gurudeva stories and answered questions until it was time for the special dinner that all had prepared.

A joyous evening for all...

Off to the Hindu Mandir Executives Conference

Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami and Sannyasin Senthilnathaswami, recently flew off on another journey. This time their ultimate destination is Orlando, Florida for this year's Hindu Mandir's Executive Conference. Their trip also includes stops in Carlsbad, Boston, Loveland, Yosemite and San Francisco.

Our traveling swamis were hosted in Southern California by Ravi and Sheela Visswanathan enroute to HMEC. They also enjoyed a wonderful satsang at the home of Dasan and Shakti Mahadevan, an informal and story-filled evening connecting with some 30 members and students.

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